WEDDING: Bay brides finally able to celebrate their love
AS A TEENAGER and young adult, Jenny Munro struggled with her sexuality.
She couldn't imagine a day when the love she felt would be recognised, when same-sex marriage would be legal and she could celebrate with her friends and family.
But last weekend in Hervey Bay, that's exactly what happened.
Two years after Australia voted resoundingly in favour of marriage equality, Jenny married her partner of almost eight years, Larisa Seghers in the garden of her family's Scarness home.
For Larisa, it was a moment she thought would never arrive.
"It seemed like a fairy tale that we were getting married - we have both been to so many other weddings in our lifetime and I had sadly thought that it could never be me due to the law - now that the law has changed, we had the same rights as everyone else to get married,” she said.
Wearing her mother's wedding dress, Larisa said the moment she saw Jenny on their wedding day it was "like a dream come true”.
"I also loved having the wedding in Hervey Bay, Jen's hometown, but it was really a destination wedding with over 90 people travelling from around Queensland, interstate and overseas to attend the day,” she said.
The couple met through a mutual friend in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall.
A year later, Jenny asked Larisa on a date and five years after that, she proposed at a headland overlooking the beach where the two spent their first weekend together.
Being able to exchange vows like any other couple in love meant everything to them
"Marriage equality means so much,” Jenny said.
"Our partnership is now equal to any other according to Australian law. But more than that, it's the sense of acceptance and validation of our relationship in the wider community - and the positive message that sends to young LGBT kids.”
Jenny said she was blown away with how helpful and supportive Hervey Bay providers and suppliers have been.
"They didn't blink an eye over us being two women.
"Venues, accommodation, flowers, hair, the lot.
"They're a credit to the local wedding industry. Natalie and
"Tash at the Waterfront Restaurant particularly went above and beyond to make it a perfect day.”